Family Business Vision

Jennifer Pendergast

If you and your family hope to create a lasting family legacy by passing your enterprise down through the generations, a family vision statement will help guide you in the achieving this goal. 

What is a family vision statement?  Most people are familiar with a business vision statement.  It lays out management’s aspirations for what the business will become – what customers it will serve, products and services it will offer, markets it will operate it in, and at a higher level, what value it hopes to create.  A family vision statement is similar, but its focus is the family, not the business enterprise. 

The family vision statement answers these questions:

  • What do we hope to achieve as a family together?
  • What is the purpose of our wealth and what will we use it to accomplish?
  • Are there particular needs or expectations we have of the business?
  • What values do we expect to see reflected in the business culture?
  • Is our philosophy to put the needs of the business before the family, the family before the business, or balance the two?
  • What role do we, as family members, intend to play in the management and ownership of our enterprise?
  • Do we hope to stay together as a business owning family for generations to come?
  • What will our family’s legacy be – to our employees, our community, future generations of family members

The answers to these questions will shape both your family and your enterprise in the years to come. Many long-lasting family businesses come to see that the greatest advantage of being a business owning family is not the financial benefit but the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.  Without thought and guidance, your family will under-utilize this wonderful opportunity.

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